When I grew up in southwest Missouri, we called it decoration day. I don't have a lot of memories of going to the cemetaries and putting on flowers. I do have a memory of going to a little creek to gather watercress in the Spring. It was Clear Water creek and I think it was near the cemetary where all my mother's family is buried. I could be wrong. But that is how I have thought of that creek all these years.
My next favorite memory of decoration day is when I was about 12 or so and we lived in Lebanon, Mo. I had gone to my aunt's out in the country for the week-end. They made crape paper flowers and dipped them in wax, to make them last, and then, we sorted through them to decide which ones went where. They had a dinner on the grounds of the cemetary, where we had gone to church earlier, that day. After dinner, read that lunch ( I am a country girl), we went to each of our relative's graves and placed flowers. My uncle was buried there close to his brothers and sisters. I remember my aunt always spending time by his gravesite and we went with other kids and played. Leaving her time to tell him whatever she wanted.
My parents are now buried in that same cemetary, and we make the trek there at least twice a year to place flowers and remember. We always make it the week before Memorial Day, but usually not Decoration Day which is the week before Memorial Day, I think. They still have their dinner and decorate the graves. I find it really nice that someone always puts some flowers on my parents grave before we get there. It is nice to know they are remembered by someone other than our own family.
We should always try to remember the person to whom we are delivering flowers. It seems that we just put out the flowers and say, " Well, that's done for another year." When you think of those gone, try to remember their lives. If they served in the military think on their sacrifice, even it is only the time they served and not their lives. It was a special time to them. Maybe they hated it, maybe they loved it, but it was special to them. It is special to us.
Have a blessed Memorial Day.